Crypto, blockchain, forex, and the world of online gaming- these are some of the top stories of the week.
Crypto & Blockchain
Amazon files for proof-of-work cryptographic patent- Tech giant amazon has been granted a patent for innovative technologies relating to a Proof-of-Work cryptographic system. The patent describes how Merkle trees will be generated as a solution to proof-of-work challenges to ensure that blocks are not falsified. Whilst the patent doesn’t directly mention blockchain or cryptocurrency, it does make reference to “cryptographic key”, “public signing key” and other terms linked to blockchain and crypto.
Motion granted to lift some restrictions on Bitfinex- Following last weeks court decision to limit the activities of both Bitfinex and Tether following allegations they conspired to cover up a loss of $850 million, the Supreme Court granted a motion to lift some restrictions. Bitfinex are now able to resume some of their commercial activities, but some restrictions still remain in place on access to USD credit lines, as well as the distribution of dividends.
Binance resumes trading after hack– After 7000 BTC were stolen from Binance’s hot wallets last week, trading has finally resumed. Hackers were able to access to API keys and two-factor authentication codes before making off with over $41 million (at the time) of funds. Binance halted trading and withdrawals, pending a broad security upgrade that was finally completed yesterday.
Irish gambling regulator is in the works– The Irish Minister of State, David Stanton has announced that within 18 months a new framework for regulating gambling in the country will be ready. In response to a question fielded by the press, he stated that the development and implementation of the new regulatory regime is expected to be ready by 2020, including a number of recommendations and amendments to the existing Gambling Control Bill. Controls will be implemented on advertising and sponsorship as well as anti- money laundering measures. A regulatory authority for the industry is expected to be created, as well as a number of different licenses for operators.
Players file lawsuit against online casino in Austria– A number of Austrian players have taken legal action against online casino websites to reclaim the losses they incurred over a two-and-a-half-year period. Those being challenged in court were found to be operating without the necessary permits, therefore any money lost on the site should be returned to those who gambled it according to the plaintiffs lawyers.
Mandalorian and Betway handed big fines in Sweden– Spelinspektionen, the Swedish gambling regulatory has handed out “six-figure fines” to both Betway and Mandalorian. The regulator found that both were in breach of regulations that related to bonus offers that they were promoting in the country. Sweden had recently introduced restrictions on bonuses in an attempt to “reduce social and economic damages and problem gambling”.
World Bank executes first blockchain bond transaction– the World Bank, in conjunction with Commonwealth Bank have successfully completed a transaction relating to its bond-i product, and recorded it on the blockchain. The first bond of this type was launched back in August 2018, but this is the first to be enacted with a large financial entity such as Commonwealth Bank. The bond-i runs on the Ethereum blockchain and is executed in conjunction with TD Securities.
Dollar soon to reach two-year high- At the time of writing on Friday, the US Dollar is set to reach its two-year high. The peak was put down to delayed auto tariffs and trade tensions with China. As of 10:16 AM ET, the US dollar index was up 0.1% to 97.787. The dollar was however down against the yen with USD/JPY falling 0.6% to a low of 109.75. Sterling and Euro also experienced a slump, with the former experiencing its sixth day of decline in a row.